This may be the last day we lay eyes on my friend David. He’s also Chloe’s Bop because when my daughter was a toddler she couldn’t pronounce the letter P, so it came out Bop. He’s been the most amazing grandfather for our Chloe, and if he was physically able he never missed a cross country meet, track meet, soccer game or basketball game she participated in. In fact he coached her in softball, and made her into one incredible softball player. He was a physical education major at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and his love for Jesus came through his love of sports competition. He was a scholar of football, baseball and basketball. It’s hard to write this without losing it as I have this entire week, and the grieving will go on for the rest of our lives. The greatest game he ever played is about to end, but it’s a game that ends in a very big W. The Vols and the Cubs may suck right now, and they have sucked for a long time, but they will win big time when he’s hired to coach by both in Heaven. He’ll coach them both to the top of college football and Major League Baseball because his mind and body will not only be perfect, but they will love the people he coaches with an abandon that is only exceeded by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In all my years I’ve never seen a man love others the way he continues to love others in his last breaths. That’s a legacy worth leaving. He will no doubt hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
And here come my sobs. Love is the singular most important thing in the whole world, and David taught us all to love others. He embodied the teachings of Christ to his last conscience moment, and I will never forget his example. He understood and practiced the fact that the greatest of these is love, and I will study the ways of Jesus through David the rest of my life. It hurts like hell that he won’t be here to text and call, but the example he modeled in many ways is more powerful than his physical presence, and I cannot thank my Father and David enough for the time we had together. I know nothing of the afterlife, but I suspect that I will have dream conversations with David the way I had conversations with Ty when Ty II passed away. I close with a passage I memorized years ago from 2 Corinthians 4.
So do not lose heart though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them, so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.